Vienna Zoo

Despite living in Vienna for a while now, I only recently visited the zoo in the Schönbrunn Palace, which is apparently the oldest zoo in the world. It always seemed to me that it is way too expensive and even though it is really nice, it’s not a place I am likely to visit again any time soon. The only other zoo I’ve ever been to is the one in Sofia which is a lot cheaper and bigger, but with much, much sadder looking animals. The Schönbrunn zoo is still pretty big and contains a lot of animals, including some very beloved pandas. It also has some very creative ways of presenting the animals, like a rain forest house containing a dark passage with some free flying bats, that I was too scared to go through, or a passage underneath the aquarium, where you can admire the fish’s bellies.

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Stift Klosterneuburg

Klosterneuburg is a little town just outside of Vienna. It has a big Catholic monastery that I got to visit today. It was founded in the twelfth century by St. Leopold, whose wife Agnes, way more impressively, had 22 children – 11 from her first marriage to a duke that died and 11 from her second to Leopold. She was also the sister of the Roman Emperor Henry V.

So anyway, yeah. 22 children.

I’ll give you a second to imagine that.

22.

Ready? Ok, lets move on.  Continue reading “Stift Klosterneuburg”

Mondsee

Some gas stations are boring and ugly. Some gas stations have views like this.

And yet, I don’t own a car.

I was going somewhere with this…

With my life?

No, I was going to Salzburg. That’s when we stopped at the gas station next to the lake. It was a good gas station. It had all the right stuff. It had coffee. And gas, I suppose. That was what, 3 years ago? What is a gas station you remember from 3 years ago? And were you going somewhere with your life?

Do you ever start a post about gas stations and end up with a mid-week existential crisis? Those are all interesting questions.

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Hallstatt

Here’s the thing.

I grew up in Sofia, a city pretty much surrounded by mountains. Every day when I went outside I saw Vitosha – the 2290 m high constant companion to my struggles. Most of the times I didn’t even realise it was there, but I did realise that when it was gone, I missed it. It took me a couple of years of living in Vienna to notice that its landscape flatness left me yearning for something different. It took me another couple of years to start going to Google Maps obsessively looking for the fastest way to get to a mountain.

I didn’t want much! Just to sit somewhere with a glass of something (coffee or wine depending on the hour of the day) and to admire the magnificent earth wrinkles. Who would have thought that it would be so difficult to get to a mountain in Austria – the land has the fucking Alps for god’s sake! But every option seemed too far away or too expensive to a person who was used to having the mountains just, like, right there. But then came my birthday and I was desperate to get out. A friend of mine recommended Hallstatt a couple of years ago and I decided to see what all the fuss was about. It took me, all in all, 4 hours on 2 trains, some minutes on a boat full of Asian tourists and 20 Euro to get there and of course, the same to get back. But damn, it was so worth it! The hotels in Hallstatt were way above my price range, so the whole adventure took place on a single day – my 27th birthday.  Continue reading “Hallstatt”

Seestadt

It’s my birthday week (it’s not weird, I’m a grown woman) and after going to an Ice Cream festival on Saturday, I wanted to do something equally interesting on Sunday. As the Ice Cream festival wasn’t all that interesting, the bar wasn’t overwhelmingly high. And so, on Sunday I got some börek and went to the last stop of the U2 – Seestadt – with my book, my outside blanket and my easily impressed boyfriend. The district is actually being build right now and will be finished in some years. It’s coming along really well and I could tell it will be a trendy, fancy new area. The See itself had clean looking water, many little fishies and one enormous orange fish (that I could see). We managed to conquer the territory under the only tree on the hard, stony beach and eat our börek. It was actually pretty pleasant and I am excited to see what they build in the coming years. I hope they do something about that stony-ness of the beach…